Threats, sexual offenses and mischief lead to slight increase in crime in Penticton in 2021 – Summerland Review


Penticton saw a slight increase in crime overall in 2021, primarily due to increases in sexual offences, threats and mischief, according to the Penticton RCMP quarterly report.

Overall, the number of service calls for the year increased by 1%, from 17,145 in 2020 to 17,306 in 2021.

Sexual offenses increased by 16%, from 79 cases for the whole year to 92, with the last quarter of the year seeing a 50% increase.

Cases of threats increased by 30%, from 224 in 2020 to 292 in 2021, and the number of assaults increased by 2%, from 455 to 426.

The only violent crime category that has decreased in number is domestic violence, which fell 15% from 2020 (169 to 143).

Overall, violent crime saw a 7% increase in 2021 compared to 2020, while property crime saw a smaller 3% increase.

The drivers of this increase were instances of property mischief and other break and enters. Residential and commercial break-ins have both declined.

The number of calls faced by the RCMP relating to mischief and property increased by 39% in 2021 compared to 2020, from 1,345 calls to 1,869. The last quarter of the year saw an increase by 57% according to the report, with calls increasing from 290 in 2020 to 454 in 2021.

Increases in mischief calls alone offset many of the reductions seen elsewhere. Vehicle thefts, for example, fell 31% from 825 calls in 2020 to 572 in 2021, and business break-ins fell 16% from 200 to 168 calls.

Bicycle thefts decreased by 15% in 2021, from 149 to 126, while car thefts recorded only one less call in 2021 with 193 compared to 194 in 2020.

Fraudulent calls were down 7% from 274 to 249, shoplifting was down 1% from 395 to 392, and residential break-ins were down 20% from 91 to 73 for the year.

Penticton City Council approved the addition of seven new officers to the 2022 budget, three of whom are expected to arrive by spring.

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